• Catching Mid-South Most Wanted: An inside look on how it's done

    By: Greg Coy


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - We've seen a stretch of crime riddled days, a couple of high profile murders, and a cry from the community for it to stop.

    With so many violent fugitives on the streets, you have a right to be concerned.

    PHOTOS: Catching Mid-South Most Wanted: An inside look on how its done

    These criminals are looking over their shoulders as a special unit of the sheriff's department work to track them down.

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    The suspect who tops the list this week is Harry French. He is a violent carjacker who has been known to taunt authorities on social media.  

    Law enforcement wants him, and they are investing the resources to find him.

    Sheriff's deputies walked with purpose as they arrived at a home hoping to find a violent fugitive hiding out.  

    He could be one of 50 suspects the Shelby County Sheriff's Office wants caught, but the visit accompanied by FOX13 didn’t end with an arrest.

    "So we are going to have try another address we have for him and see if we can locate him there," said one deputy with the Fugitive Apprehension Team whose name can't be used.  

    FOX13 asked Captain Chris Harris, head of the detectives division, the challenges in finding these fugitives.  

    Many of them are wanted for aggravated assault, burglary and robbery. They attempt to live a life without a trace.  

    "They don't have physical addresses. They don't have utilities in their names. They are basically bouncing around all over this area committing crime, so they become very difficult to track down," said Captain Harris.

    Those challenges make it difficult for deputies to find Harry French. Captain Harris told FOX13, "I really want this Harry French. He is violent. He is dangerous."  

    French is a 19-year-old suspected of committing three carjackings and maybe connected to at least six, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies said in August of 2017, French surprised his victim at a gas station early in the morning, pointing a gun in his face and stealing his car.  

    "He just doesn't stick to one part of town. He will go into your Germantown. He will go into Collierville. He will go to Southeast Shelby County as he did in this particular instance. He'll stick a gun in your face and take your vehicle," said Harris.

    Hoping to catch French in a traffic stop while he is driving a stolen car could create a danger to the public.

    "He is not willing to stop. He's not going to obey the traffic laws. He is going to run red lights at a high-speed. He is going to put the general public in danger," said Captain Harris.

    The Sheriff's Office believes the best approach to arrest French and the other violent suspects is to catch them by surprise, find them hiding at a friends or relatives house.

    The fugitive apprehension team relies on intel from street contacts and the public.  

    If deputies can put one or more of these fugitives in custody, violent crime in our community will drop, especially if they nab Harry French.  

    "It gives everybody a little peace of mind when they are coming home from work or they are unloading groceries that the “Harry Frenchs” of the world are not going to be out there sticking a gun in your face," said Captain Harris.

    While French is still out there, the Fugitive Apprehension Team has already caught 22 suspects so far this month. 

    However, their job is far from over.

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